Advanced Energy Perspectives

Make or Buy for Utilities: Putting Services and Capital Investments on a Level Playing Field

Posted by Danny Waggoner

July 2018

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Image by Stormotion.io, used under a Creative Commons license

This is the sixth in an occasional series from AEE published in Utility Dive that addresses how the power sector can successfully transition to a 21st Century Electricity System.

Throughout the economy, businesses rely heavily on services to fulfill their needs. In the utility sector, however, the use of services has taken hold more slowly, especially when those services reduce the need for capital investment in their systems. At the heart of the matter is the way utilities recover costs and generate earnings. At stake is faster adoption of modern technology, better service, a more efficient system, and lower costs for customers.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, utility, regulation

Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2018 – So Far

Posted by Coley Girouard

July 2018

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Photo by Tom Burke, used under a Creative Commons license

In December, we published a list of the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2017. With half of 2018 already in the rearview mirror, we check in on the top public utility commission (PUC) actions and trends so far this year.

Not surprisingly, the challenges PUCs are grappling with are diverse: moving toward a cleaner grid, adopting foundational electric vehicle policies, investigating utility business model reforms, exploring the integration of new technologies such as energy storage, and increasing customer choice when it comes to sourcing their energy, just to name a few. Without further ado, here is a status check on the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018 so far.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, regulation

In Pennsylvania, Legislature and Public Utility Commission Pave the Way to Innovative Ratemaking

Posted by Eric Miller

July 2018

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Photo by njtrout_2000, used under a Creative Commons license

This is a guest post from Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, AEE’s state partner in Pennsylvania. For more information on AEE’s State Coalition, click here.

In recent years, many states have grappled with the challenge of balancing the interests of regulated energy utilities to earn revenue by selling power with the public policy goal of reducing energy consumption.  To meet this challenge, more than 30 states in the U.S. have successfully used innovative utility rates, termed “alternative ratemaking,” to better align utility financial incentives with the public policy goal of increasing energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. Research by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy shows that states with alternative ratemaking policies achieve 50% higher savings from their energy efficiency programs.  Following two recent actions, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now poised to take advantage of these tools as well.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Guest Post, 21st Century Electricity System

Ohio Powers Forward in its Grid Modernization Initiative

Posted by Coley Girouard

April 2018

Ryan PowerForward-740 In April 2017, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) launched PowerForward, an effort to study how Ohio could revolutionize its electrical grid, improve reliability and resilience, and incorporate new, innovative technologies in order to enhance the customer experience of all Ohio electricity customers. This initiative has called upon industry leaders to lead conversations ranging from integrating DER into the evolving grid to incorporating electric vehicles and their infrastructure onto the electric system, to redesigning Ohio’s ratemaking and rate design structure to inspire investments in innovative energy resources. AEE and its member companies have been right in the mix.

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Topics: State Policy Update, PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, regulation

Awards Season — Not Just for the Movies

Posted by Laura Bartsch

March 2018

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Hollywood has the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, and more, but the advanced energy industry has its own stars to celebrate, too! With awards season in full swing, last week, we recognized Representative Ryan Costello (R — PA, 6th District) with AEE’s Advanced Energy Leadership Award during Energy Forward: Driving Advanced Energy Growth, our annual gathering of AEE members and state and regional partners, Feb. 27-28. A theme that emerged throughout the two days was the need to more effectively share our stories. Just as the film industry looks to tell stories that make characters relatable, we need to tell stories that connect our industry — and the individuals within it — to the broader economy. We need to boost our ratings by making advanced energy hyper-local, highly relatable and personal.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Federal Policy Update, Event, 21st Century Electricity System, regulation

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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